Last updated on: 2/29/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

Sandra L. Banning Biography

Title:
Mother of child of Michael A. Newdow in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Michael A. Newdow
Position:
Pro to the question "Should the Words “under God” Be in the US Pledge of Allegiance?"
Reasoning:

“Nullification of the Pledge in this case -by casting aside over fifty years of settled jurisprudence – would ‘have wide a profound effects’ and call into doubt any number of patriotic exercises with references that might be construed as offensive to some religion…

In particular, while no student may be compelled against his or her conscience to pledge allegiance to the American flag, this freedom does not include a corollary right to prohibit others from pledging allegiance to the flag in order to honor, in an appropriate way, the ‘guaranties of civil liberty which tend to inspire patriotism and love of country.’ Barnett, 319 U.S. at 631. To Allow Mr. Newdow’s personal religious beliefs to prescribe a standard dictating the conduct of others would itself be the grossest violation of the Establishment Cause. As this Court held long ago, government may not ‘prefer those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.’ Zorach, 343 U.S. at 314.”

Amicus Court Brief for Sandra L. Banning, Elk Grove Unified School District v. Michael A. Newdow, written by Kenneth W. Starr, Counsel of Record, Dec. 19, 2003

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
  Organizations/VIPs/Other
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Mother of child of Michael A. Newdow in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Michael A. Newdow
Education:
  • None found
Other:
  • Self-avowed born-again Christian